Starting a garden can seem like a very daunting task, but have no fear because this article will break it down into 3 easy steps. When you are considering starting a garden you have to take into account location, plants, and cost. Now those are some pretty vague topics, so let me break those down for you even more.
Have you ever heard the saying “Location, location, location”? Well it doesn’t only apply to real estate, it also pertains to your garden. There are several aspects to choosing a location for your garden that you must consider. The first aspect of location is how much space you have for your garden. If you live in an apartment and only have a balcony for your garden then you are going to want to look into a planter garden. If you have a backyard then you can consider raised garden beds. The next aspect of location is sunlight. As you consider a place to start your garden make sure that place has a minimum of 6 hours of sun each day. The way you can check this is by checking the spot you want to put your garden throughout the day and take note of when the sun is shining there. The final aspect of location that you want to take into account is the distance to a water source. If you are doing a planter garden on your balcony then it probably won’t be as much of a factor. However, if you are looking to build several raised beds then you want to make sure a hose can reach it from your closest water source. Remember location is key in gardening real estate too.
Ok, so now you know where you are going to plant your garden, the next step is figuring out what the heck you want to grow. Do you want to grow veggies, fruits, or flowers? What kinds of veggies, fruits, or flowers do you want to grow? To answer these questions you must figure out what zone you live in. Now you’re probably wondering “What is a zone?” The United States and Canada are divided into zones called Plant Hardiness Zones, which help you determine which plants can survive in the climate you live in. For example, lemon trees cannot survive outside in Maine because it gets too cold for the tree to survive, but they can survive all year-round in Florida because the climate is much warmer there. To learn more about the specific zones and which zone you live in, go to the https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ and search for your zip code.
The final step for creating a garden is the finances. Make a budget. Determine how much your startup costs will be and then try to figure out how much it will cost to maintain your garden. These startup costs will vary depending on the two previous steps. If you only have space for a planter garden, then your startup costs will be significantly lower than those who have the space for a raised bed. The cost of plants is another important factor that will affect your budget. If you are growing a flower garden and buying lots of perennials that will come back every year then your initial expenses will be a lot more than your yearly maintenance fees. If you are growing a vegetable garden, you will need to buy either seeds or plants every year and this will need to be budgeted for both initial cost and maintenance cost. You will also need to consider the cost of dirt. Those are the biggest expenses that you can count on but there will also be lots of little things that will pop so having some wiggle room in your budget is very important.
Hopefully, starting a garden doesn’t seem like such a daunting task anymore. If you can consider location, plants, and cost when starting your garden then you won’t be as overwhelmed. There is just one more teeny, tiny phrase of wisdom that I wish to depart you with: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start small, gardening is a learning process and it is best to start smaller so that you can enjoy gardening and not get overwhelmed by your garden. I started my garden with one single 4’x12’ raised bed in May 2021. Then by June 2023 I more than tripled my home garden and started a community garden. Gardening is meant to be fun so be sure you can enjoy it.